CW 64 W — Writing about Spirituality
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—Jun 9
Refund Deadline: Apr 6
Instructor(s): Rachel Howard
Class Recording Available: Yes
Flex Online(About Formats)
Apr 3—Jun 9
Our spiritual experiences stir our most urgent desire to communicate. We burn to share the questions and convictions that draw us to a reality beyond our limited selves. But how do we work with language to contain the ineffable? How do we write about spirituality without oversimplifying infinite complexities? How can our writing reach those who already share our beliefs and those who don’t? In this course, we will read the work of inspiring spiritual writers who represent a wide range of faith traditions, from the reflections of Protestant memoirist Christian Wiman to the Dharma talks of Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön to the contemplative journals of Muslim poet Kazim Ali and the instructive essays of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. During our first six weeks, we will alternate between “reading weeks,” in which we deeply examine and contemplate our model texts, and “writing weeks,” in which we draft new work: a spiritual autobiography, a spiritual journal, and an essay. During our final weeks, each student will workshop a longer work-in-progress. By reading published spiritual writers closely, we will find new ways to point to a greater truth in our own work.
Rachel Howard is the author of a memoir about her father’s unsolved murder, The Lost Night, and a novel, The Risk of Us. Her personal essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times "Draft" series, The Los Angeles Review of Books, StoryQuarterly, and O, The Oprah Magazine. She received an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson College.
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.